The American Alpine Club and the Access Fund Launch Anchor Replacement Fund

August 17, 2015, Golden, CO— The Access Fund and the American Alpine Club are proud to announce a joint grant program available to local climbing organizations and anchor replacement groups seeking funding for fixed anchor replacement at climbing areas across the United States. By partnering on this program, the nation's two national non-profit climbing organizations are filling a need unmet by their existing climbing conservation grants—replacing fixed anchors at local crags. This grant program is made possible by corporate support from ClimbTech, Petzl, and Trango.

"Across the United States, bolts installed in the 80's and 90's are aging, and there are growing concerns of anchor failure, incidents, and access issues," says Access Fund Executive Director Brady Robinson. “While bolting standards continue to evolve, there is an immediate need to address aging and inadequate fixed anchors and increase support for local and national partners leading these efforts."

American Alpine Club Executive Director Phil Powers adds: “As the American climbing community grows, it's critical that we partner to keep climbers safe. We owe it to future generations of climbers to maintain and steward all of our resources, including fixed anchors."

Earlier this year, the Access Fund and American Alpine Club released a joint policy on fixed anchors, which gives land managers, agency officials, and partner organizations in the climbing community a clear and consistent policy regarding the placement, maintenance, and management of fixed anchors for technical climbing. This new grant program is based on those same collaborative principles, and the Access Fund and American Alpine club encourage applicants to employ best practices for anchor replacement and demonstrate support from their local climbing community.

Fixed anchors are necessary tools for climbing and some level of fixed anchor use and replacement shall be allowed wherever climbing is allowed, and the appropriate level of use should be established on an area-by-area basis.

The Anchor Replacement Fund will further support the great work that organizations like the American Safe Climbing Association and numerous local climbing organizations have accomplished over the years. They have made significant investments and progress in anchor replacement, and we are excited to join this effort and hope that the Anchor Replacement Fund can help extend the reach of these initiatives.

The inaugural Anchor Replacement Fund application round is now open, and applications are due by September 15. A joint committee made up of experts from both organizations and the anchor replacement community will manage the review process. Grant guidelines and forms can be found on both organizations' websites and questions and applications can be directed to [email protected].

About the Access Fund

The Access Fund is the national advocacy organization that keeps climbing areas open and conserves the climbing environment. Founded in 1991, the Access Fund supports and represents millions of climbers nationwide in all forms of climbing: rock climbing, ice climbing, mountaineering, and bouldering. Six core programs support the mission on national and local levels: climbing policy and advocacy, stewardship and conservation, local support and mobilization, land acquisition and protection, risk management and landowner support, and education. For more information, visit www.accessfund.org.

About the American Alpine Club

The American Alpine Club is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization whose vision is a united community of competent climbers and healthy climbing landscapes. Together with our members, the AAC advocates for American climbers domestically and around the world; provides grants and volunteer opportunities to protect and conserve the places we climb; hosts local and national climbing festivals and events; publishes two of the world's most sought-after climbing annuals, the American Alpine Journal and Accidents in North American Mountaineering; cares for the world's leading climbing library and country's leading mountaineering museum; manages the Hueco Rock Ranch, New River Gorge Campground, and Grand Teton Climbers' Ranch as part of a larger lodging network for climbers; and annually gives $100,000+ toward climbing, conservation, and research grants that fund adventurers who travel the world. Learn about additional programs and become a member at americanalpineclub.org.